Dani Miller: ‘Where the freaks at?’

02.09.2016 | Music | BY:

For the latest issue of Twin – issue XIV – we chronicled some of the most exciting female figures in the music industry to be aware of, right now. One of these girls, was 22-year-old Dani Miller, lead singer of the riotous band SURFBORT, who fills our Instagram feeds with infectious mayhem under the guise @alienzarereal. Here, we discover a little more about what makes this brilliant young woman tick.

Where are you from?
California.

What was it like growing up there?
I learned how to chill hard, smoke a ton of weed and dodge beach jocks.

Where do you now live?
Brooklyn, New York.

Why do you like it?
It’s nasty, full of dreamers and magical aliens that constantly are creating and loving each other. The streets are alive and make me feel an electricity that is specific to New York. Also the weather is nice, the blazing heat cooking the rats and puke right onto the sidewalk wakes me up and influences my art in a completely different way than the art I make in the slushie ice queen winters. It really mixes my world up.

Where did you study?
San Francisco, but do not plan on returning anytime soon. I hate that the tech industry has taken over, especially when it so concentrated and sterile. It’s just making everything boring and shitty. You could really say that about a lot of areas. Rich people who don’t understand the arts just pollute the world with ugly establishments and ugly energy. Where are the freaks at?

What did you study?
Film.

What did you learn?
I have always been constantly making films and imagining how passing moments would translate onto the screen. but what I learned the most was about gender studies and I discovered I wanted to make experimental films that wake people up and inspire them to create positive change in one’s society/world.

Describe what you do for a living.
I am the lead singer in SURFBORT, I am also a director and set designer and I DJ for my Jarritos™ and pizza budget.

Why did you want to do that?
Singing, screaming and laughing on stage is such good therapy and it gives me a voice in the community. I enjoy bringing friends and people together. One: to have everyone realise they aren’t alone in their suffering and that we can all dance and run around and scream to let our frustrations out together, this is a fucked up world. Two: I enjoy that being in a band lets me publicly address things that matter to me like pollution and exposing the fucked-up government.

Do you think you’ll do it forever?
I will always create forever. I will always sing my poetry and thoughts into the universe.

Did anyone inspire you to do what you’re doing?
Patti Smith and Exene Cervenka, but my loneliness and sadness inspired me the most.

DANI_MILLER

Dani Miller by Ben Rayner for Twin

What are you currently working on?
Just finished recording a 7” with SURFBORT. Have been working on another project where I also sing, called Hippie Vomit Inhaler. I am making a film about a post-apocalyptic New York where the water supply is so toxic it drugs people, and a group of women plan a trip to a “magical milk mother” in the city who will trade holistic healing crystals and potions to counteract the poison coming from the water supply. In return for putrid milk from the last remaining cows in the country,which are located in Brooklyn.

What would you like to work on?
Finding more time to paint in my basement.

Is there anyone you’d love to work with?
Nickelback, Slipknot, Patti Smith.

What are you the most proud of so far?
Doing what makes me happy – which is art – and surrounding myself with magical witches and wizards.

How would your friends describe you?
Alien.

How do you think a stranger would describe you?
Fucking psychotic angel.

Would you say you have a ‘look’?
My “look” is comfort, things that make me go “hahaha”: ’70s, up tha punx. I basically don’t really give a fuck and I think it is important for any human to look the way that makes them feel electric. I am missing teeth, very hairy everywhere, and love wearing anything that makes me laugh and that’s what makes me feel good. A “feel-good look”!

How important is your image to what you do?
My image is important to my art because being in the public eye coincides with exposing a certain type of freak to the world, and letting other young women who look up to you or identify with the same type of alien I do that it is completely acceptable to be yourself. Shave or don’t shave, be toothless, wear clown clothes. Say R.I.P. to caring or letting toxic media define you.

How important is social media to you? What do you like and dislike about it?
I use it for a joke and to connect to other people and laugh at current events of the day. I also just enjoy seeing my friends paintings especially @chaka_sean. On the @therealsurfbort Instagram I am more political and point out how idiotic many of the current politicians are. The main things I dislike about social media is when people use it in an abusive ways to personally attack or shame each other. I also hate that Instagram over-sexualises women’s bodies and shames them into thinking their bodies don’t belong to them. There are a lot of negative things to say about social media because it can be extremely narcissistic and known to rot brains, but I overall just acknowledge that it is a powerful tool and it usually brings me more smiles and laughs than anything else.

What pisses you off the most?
Donald Trump and violence.

What makes you happy?
My puppy and Mom.

All images by Ben Rayner, exclusively for Twin. Benrayner.com

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